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Court of Appeals Denies Plaintiff’s Attempt to Obtain Double Recovery of Attorney’s Fees Under Bad Faith Statute O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11 and Offer of Judgment Statute O.C.G.A. § 9-11-68(b)

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently held that where a plaintiff made an offer of settlement to the defendant, and a jury then returned a verdict for more than 125% of the offer of settlement, and the jury also awarded attorney's fees under O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11 for bad faith conduct, the plaintiff could not recover attorney's fees under both O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11 and the offer of settlement statute at O.C.G.A. § 9-11-68(b). The Court held that to allow plaintiff to recover full amount attorney's fees under O.C.G.A. § 13-16-11 and another full amount under O.C.G.A. § 9-11-68(b) would be a double recovery. The Court also issued one caveat that if a party incurred attorney's fees after a jury verdict but prior to entering the final judgment by the trial court, then a subsequent order under O.C.G.A. § 9-11-68(b) by a judge for such fees would be appropriate.

Overall, the decision is very helpful to prevent plaintiffs from obtaining double recoveries for attorney's fees and increasing their leverage in making offers of settlement.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss, please feel free to contact me.

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